Microsoft ADO.NET is the latest data access technology from Microsoft. ADO.NET is a collection of classes that are part of the .NET Framework, and is designed to provide consistent access to data in loosely coupled n-tier application architectures such as web services. ADO.NET can be used to access a variety of data sources including databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Microsoft Access, as well as XML, OLE DB, and ODBC data sources.
ADO.NET separates data access from manipulation. Connected classes available in .NET data providers connect to a data source, execute commands, and retrieve results. Disconnected classes let you access and manipulate data offline and later synchronize changes with the underlying data source. XML support is tightly integrated with ADO.NET, allowing you to load, access, and manipulate data using XML as well as the disconnected classes simultaneously.
ADO.NET is very different from its predecessor ADO. With the increasing popularity of .NET and ADO.NET, there are many questions from developers about how to solve specific problems and how to implement solutions most efficiently. This book is a reference containing solutions and techniques that make using ADO.NET easier and more productive. You may have already encountered some of these problems; others you may never see. Some of the solutions are responses to problems that have been posted in various discussion groups, while others are real problems encountered while building applications.
This book is organized into chapters, with each chapter containing solutions (stated as recipes) to a specific problem category. Each recipe consists of a single question and its solution followed by a discussion. The question-answer format provides complete solutions to problems, making it easy to read and use. Nearly every recipe contains a complete, documented code sample showing you how to solve the specific problem, as well as a discussion of how the underlying technology works and a discussion of alternatives, limitations, and other considerations when appropriate. All of the code—both C# and VB.NET—is available from the web site (http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/adonetckbk).
You don’t have to be an experienced .NET developer to use this book; it is designed for users of all levels. This book provides solutions to problems that developers face every day. Reference or tutorial books can teach general concepts but do not usually provide help solving real-world problems. This book teaches by example; the natural way for most people to learn.
While some of the samples in this book use advanced techniques, these problems are frequently faced by developers with all levels of experience. The code samples are all complete, well commented, and thoroughly explained to help you apply them and solve your own problems quickly, easily, and efficiently. At the same time, you will understand exactly how and why the solution works, the requirements, trade-offs, and drawbacks. This book is designed to move you up the learning curve quickly. The solutions show good programming discipline and techniques to further help less experienced developers.
You don’t need to retype the code in this book since it is available on the O’Reilly web site (http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/adonetckbk). Only code important to the solution is listed in this book. Enough code is presented so that the book can be used without loading the actual code. The book does not list user interface code, its background code, or code generated automatically by Visual Studio .NET.